The Phillies recently agreed to a minor league contract with a relief pitcher. Jesus Cruz and corner outfielder Dustin PetersonIt’s unclear if any will receive non-roster spring training invitations, according to MLB.com transaction logs.
Cruz, 27, is 6-foot-1-inch right-handed and has eight MLB appearances. His seven out last season as division rival Braves under-leveraged his 8 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs (including a home run trio) with four walks and six strikeouts before losing a 40-man roster at the beginning of August.
Things took a turn for the better at triple-A level, with the Mexican showing off some interesting swings and mistakes. Cruz beat out 32.2% of the hitters he faced in his 28 outs against Gwinnett, the Braves’ top affiliate. That comes with his high 13.2% walk rate, which is a continuation of the longstanding control problems he’s exhibited throughout his career.Cruise has played in some of his five seasons in the minor leagues. Walking his 13.4% of his opponents.
His strike throwing style is erratic, but he’s shown his ability to miss the bat at the higher levels of Minor. Cruz averaged just under 95 mph on the heater and about 87 mph on the slider in his limited MLB appearance in Atlanta. He could add a pretty strong arm to the Phils’ bullpen depth chart and start the season with Triple-A Lehigh in his Valley. He still has minor league option years left, meaning he could bounce back and forth between MLB and minors if Philadelphia secures his 40-man roster spot.
Peterson is a former second-round pick for the Padres with limited MLB tenure as a member of the Braves and Tigers. He appeared in his 19 games between his two clubs in 2018-19, having 10 hits and 2 walks in 49 at-bats. The 28-year-old has spent 10 years in the minors in his league, posting .261/.319/.364 in just under 3,700 plate appearances.
The right-handed hitter began his 2022 campaign with the Brewers on a minor league deal. After just three games, Milwaukee traded him to Philadelphia. Peterson spent the rest of the season with the Iron Pigs, batting .244/.318/.379, hitting nine home runs in 102 games. He impressed the organization well enough to earn another minor league opportunity and was able to play a role of similar depth the following season.